Howard pulls up lame from final at bat in 2011, Phils season ends for postseason
Is the Phillies dynasty over? That is the question after the loss to the Cardinals in Game 5 of the NLDS tonight. The team had everything, but failed to accomplish the most basic need to win a game, that is score a couple runs. Yes, you have to give Chris Carpenter and the Cardinals credit. We’ve seen this type of ‘fail’ from the Phillies a various times of the season this year. Yes, the team set a new season long record for wins, but at what expense?
Roy Halladay only gave up one run on the night, that was enough for this moribund Phillies offense that couldn’t get anything going in Game 5. Ryan Howard made the last out again, and fell to the earth. Is the dynasty over? Don’t blame a .133 BA coming into this game on anything other than failure in the postseason though Ryan. You’re being paid one of the biggest salaries in baseball and you failed to deliver the goods.
The offensive drought that dogged various players on the team will always happen in a season. What happens in the postseason is supposed to be different and the Phillies got super efforts from two players, Jimmy Rollins, and Chase Utley. There were others that had good contributions but the list is short. On the other side of the spectrum, Ryan Howard and Placido Polanco were totally inept when something was needed. Yes, Howard did have 6 RBI in the series, but he wasn’t clutch at all most of the time.
In post game radio show, Phillies announcer, Jim Jackson pointed the finger at Cliff Lee, saying he wasn’t able to hold that lead and that was in his opinion the turning point in the series. Yes, he has a point, but the bigger change was the Phillies offense did nothing to counter the Cards, and Charlie Manuel let them play on, choosing again not to make any dramatic or subtle moves in the games like bringing in some of the replacement players that helped the Phillies have such a great regular season.
It’s just too fresh after this loss to give a complete post-mortem of this playoff series. There will be changes next year for the Phillies but should there be some major changes now that the dynasty is on the decline? The Phillies were expected to at least make it to the World Series, and they should have. They didn’t though and good season or not this team was built for the playoffs, and collapsed like a house of Cards.